North Country assemblyman urges extension of deadline for pistol recertification
Thursday, February 1, 2018 - 9:12 am

Assemblyman Marc W. Butler (R-Newport) is again urging the governor to extend the deadline for pistol recertification.

Bulter's district includes the St. Lawrence County towns of Fine, Clifton, Colton, Clare, Pierrepont, Parishville, Stockholm, Madrid and Norfolk.

The deadline under the NY SAFE Act is Jan. 31, for those who were issued pistol permits before Jan. 15, 2013. Butler has proposed legislation to extend the deadline and asks the governor to adopt a similar year-long extension. Of the 1.25 million pistol permit holders in New York state, only 204,000 have recertified as of December 2017.

“I have had numerous constituents who have contacted me after reading about my pistol recertification deadline extension legislation say that they had no idea that there was a deadline in place. Many others were unsure how to recertify, and others have not received the letter they were supposed to receive from the State Police regarding how to recertify before they deadline,” said Butler.

“My constituents who are law-abiding citizens deserve more time to comply with the governor’s confusing NY SAFE Act law. Many of the concerns I have raised earlier in regard to complying with this law has not been resolved or addressed. I urge the governor to do the sensible thing and extend the deadline.”

Butler drafted legislation, A.9086, which would extend this week’s pistol recertification deadline of Jan. 31 by one year to Jan. 31, 2019.

Many other legislators have also taken similar steps to write the governor to urge for a deadline extension for pistol permit holders.

Additionally, the New York State Association of County Clerks has written to the governor, raising significant questions regarding the implementation of the pistol recertification law. They raised concerns over the consequence of missing the deadline, what due process permit holders were afforded, the role regarding the licensing officer and who is responsible for license revocations and weapon seizures.

The governor’s law can be interpreted to say that a failure to register by the deadline could mean that not only pistols could be confiscated, but also other long guns, such as rifles, which do not require owners to register with the state, said Butler.

Failure to recertify a pistol by the January 31, 2018 deadline could result in the criminal possession of a firearm, which the governor’s SAFE Act made a class E felony.

Under state Penal Law, felons are prohibited from possessing rifles, shotguns or other long guns. This could be a troubling state-sponsored firearms confiscation which is a violation of the Second Amendment. Butler is trying to avoid such a troubling situation for his constituents.